The main objective of the morning was to summit a hill I've had my eye on for the past couple of years. A bit of research and some judicial use of Google Earth led me to believe there was something worth seeing atop the steep, craggy and dangerous-looking hill.Read More
Joshua Tree National Park
A drive through Joshua Tree National Park might take a couple hours, viewing the park from the road. An exploration of the park would take a lifetime. Joshua Tree National Park has over 550,000 acres of wilderness filled with a variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Every now and then, man intrudes in this wilderness and leaves his brief, passing mark among the surreal geologic features that cover the landscape. Let’s go see what we can find.
The day was perfect, mid-70s with clear skies, the slightest breeze and no one in the area. Once you've been in the desert long enough, you get a feeling of how "visited" an area is. The Golden Bell Mine is a seldom visited place. Hidden behind a low hill, there's no evidence from the road that there's something interesting behind it. Like many of the awesome places in JTree, you gotta get out of the car and do some exploring (and of course, pre-trek research always pays off, and helps keep you from getting lost, breaking a leg, dying of thirst and being eaten my coyotes and turkey vultures, but that's another story).Read More
Why is it called the Pinto Wye Arrastra? I've wondered about that and had a theory, so I decided to see if I could find any facts to back it up. And as things turned out, my suspicions were correct. As it wasn't the only arrastra in the park, it couldn't just be called "the arrastra." That would cause uncertainty and vague feelings of unrest. But as it was located about three-quarters of a mile northwest of a "Y" in the main park road (the spot where Pinto Basin Road meets Park Blvd.), someone somewhere sometime called it the Pinto Wye Arrastra and the name stuck.Read More
I was heading out into the backcountry of Joshua Tree, to a place I'd never been before. I drove down the Geology Tour Road to the Pleasant Valley Backcountry Board, parked my truck, got my gear together and headed east into Fried Liver Wash. After about 100 yards, I went back to the truck and got some more water. I'd be glad later that I did.Read More